Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday. There’s nothing worse than a wet, cold Wednesday in February so this year you have every excuse to turn #WineWednesday into a special occasion. Also, there’s nothing worse than a wet, cold Thursday with the silent treatment if you’ve forgotten Valentine’s Day. This is your gentle reminder.
Fizz is the way to celebrate romance and if it’s pink fizz then even better.
A couple of Valentine’s Day pinks under £10
Chateau De Champteloup Crémant De Loire Rosé (£7.99, Aldi, 12% abv) This is a new release from Aldi just in time for Valentine’s Day. Crémant is a brilliant alternative to champagne; several French regions use their local grape varieties to make crémant in the same traditional way as its famous French cousin. This is a pretty fizz, soft with subtle fruit notes of red fruits and dried strawberries.
Borgo Molino Rose Spumante Extra Dry (£9.99, the Co-op 11% abv) This has light, refreshing flavours of strawberry and raspberry, with a hint of vanilla and velvety smooth bubbles (but neither lingers long on the palate). The clear glass bottle, prettily presented in gift-wrapping, is helpfully labelled ‘pink’ so even the colour-blind can enjoy a coordinated Valentine’s Day.
Two special Valentine’s Day sparkling pinks over £20
Akarua Brut Rosé Central Otago (Oz Wines, £22.99, 13% abv) What can I say but this is a wow. As I write I’m three days into a visit to New Zealand and next week I’ll be in the home of this sparkling wine; Central Otago. It is made from hand-picked chardonnay and pinot noir grapes and blended with reserve wine which has been aged in French oak. It has notes of fresh and dried strawberries, a touch of creaminess and a delightful balance. Delicious.
For a super-classy sparkling pink fizz how about one from England. Hush Heath Balfour Kent Brut Rosé 2013 (£35.99, Waitrose) is a blend of the classic grapes which are used in Champagne – chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. The grapes for this sparkler are grown in Kent in the shadow of a Tudor manor. It has aromas of rosehip, a whisper of strawberry and a peep of apple. In the mouth it is mouth-watering and elegant with a hint of stone fruit.
Make a Cupid’s Kiss Gin Cocktail for Valentine’s Day
If gin is your thing to share with a loved one then how about making Cupid’s Kiss, a gin cocktail recipe using Gin Lane 1751 Victoria Pink Gin (RRP £20 for 70cl, in Aldi, Selfridges and Amazon, 40% abv)
The gin is blended with bitters in a style first created by the Royal Navy, one reason being it reportedly helped cure sea-sickness. To make the cocktail muddle some strawberries in a cocktail shaker and add two parts Gin Lane 1751 “Victoria” Pink Gin and one part Cointreau. Fill the shaker with ice and shake. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass, top with tonic water to taste and garnish with a strawberry.
PS … a sparkler with love at its heart is the perfectly-named I Heart Prosecco (£7.99, reduced from £8.99 at Bargain Booze until February 26, 11% abv) which has acacia flower aromas and subtle apple and peach flavours.
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